Groceries for the rest of week were in the cardboard box on the back of my new bike as I suddenly realized I was going down. I had tried to turn too sharply on the sidewalk, looking for the button to activate the crosswalk light. Foolish maneuver in hindsight. Bam! The sound of my helmet hitting the concrete, like a cosmic exclamation point and still reverberating days later, urges me to wake up and be more careful. Karma is ripening in each moment. Serious injury or death could be around the next corner. This moment, this life, is incredibly precious! Live it intentionally, wisely, as if it were the only time, because actually, that is the bare bones truth of existence. There is no other time but the present.
Days later as I get out of bed in the morning, it suddenly occurs to me that the pain in my neck is my physical self still processing the impact from my bike accident, asking for tenderness and healing. In my acupuncture practice of the last twenty plus years, I’ve learned that so much of healing is just being present with what is, silently bearing witness – for another or oneself, without necessarily trying to fix, but just understand. Only when we are fully present can we let go of the tightness, holding and trauma, allowing new energy, new perspectives to flow.
I sit in meditation posture, my spine erect but not rigid. Visualizing Medicine Buddha, an enlightened being made of radiant and transparent blue light, atop my head, I imagine white light flowing down through me, from the crown of my head, removing all obstacles, purifying mind and body in the space of non-duality. All blockages and obstacles – physical, emotional, spiritual – in the form of dirty liquid exit my body. The body is now like a crystal vessel pervaded by objectless compassion and the wisdom of non-separateness. In an instant, the pain vanishes and does not return.
Acupuncture, and life is about energy movement, flow, getting things unstuck so that we can move forward. But in order for that to happen most effectively, and powerfully, there needs to be a balance of stillness within motion. Without stillness, the motion may lack wisdom and quickly become erratic, reckless and bring suffering instead of peace and balance.
As a practitioner, I have a responsibility to bring stillness to the treatment room. Although people may come in the clinic door seeking physical pain relief for a headache, shoulder, low back, or any of countless other aches, on same level, many seem to be drawn to acupuncture because it offers a deep rest from the increasing speed and emotional stresses of modern existence. Daily meditation is my commitment both to myself, and my community – letting go of my backpack full of stress and emotional garbage so that I am able to share a more harmonious energy from a place of deep stillness.
As we enter the new year, our bodies, minds, and the world we live in, all cry out for urgent healing action, but as Einstein reportedly said: “you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” As I enter my 21st year of practice as a licensed acupuncturist, I am honored to serve you, offering a place of stillness and refuge balanced with intentional movement of energy. Peace and blessings.